A series of events allow humans and protozoa to work together. A digital microscope tracks the activities of a variety of live single celled animals such a paramecia, amoebae, vorticella, volvox, and rotifers. At the same time motion detection technology tracks the movements of humans in the installation space near the protozoa. The computer orchestrates a series of 'games' in which protozoa actions influence the humans and others where humans try to influence the protozoa. Lights flash, electornic sound, and computer animations are composed.and web surfing is activated. A series of events are offered - either activated by visitor choice or an automatic rotation. A related event allows web visitors to observe the protozoa and also engage in collaborative acts.. The installation investigates a variety of themes: human relatioships with animals, animal and human experimentation, the nature of intelligence and consciousness, and reflections on the essence of life.
|Description of Some of the Possible Events
|Follow Me: The human in front of the Protozoa
is invited to try to duplicate the motions of the protozoa. A virtual
rectangle on the floor of the installation mimics the relative positions
on the screen rectangle of the microscope. Using a split screen the
installation offers live video of human and protozoa and rewards the human's
tracking the movements with computer sound and graphics and flashing lights.
|Make a Protozoa Your Friend: A variety of 'targets'
are superimposed on the microscope video of the protozoa. The humans
are invited to try to influence the protozoa to move toward one of the
targets. If more than one human is present, there can be a competition
to control the protozoa. Human cans exert influence by singing/yelling/speaking
into microphones on oppositie sides of slide area of the microscope or
by controlling lights places on opposite sides.
|Take a Friend Web Surfing: Humans and protozoa go web
surfing together. The movements of the protozoa control what web
pages are accessed on a linked web browser. The movement of the humans
select and position the targets on the screen that provide the potential
|The installation ideally requires the following:
- A space in which the visitors can move. Ideally with would be
the stage although other 9 x 12 space could work
- A computer with connections to a display projector (or screen), the
digital microscope, the movement tracking camera, interface box to read
sensors and activate lights
- Macintosh Computer
|- Macomedia Director is main software
- TrackThemColors Xtra for Director (track motion of both the protozoa and the humans in the installation area. )
- EZIO board and serial xtra (read touch pad, control display lights)
- Modem or DSL (Internet access controlled from Director)